29 September 2017 (The Siberian Times) – Exactly how Umka the daredevil polar bear ventured so far south from its usual habitat is not known, but this video shows the beast - probably a female - on the banks of the Kolyma River almost 700 kilometres south of the normal habitat for these animals.

In fact, there maybe two bears in the vicinity: a smaller-looking bear was seen in the village of Sylgy Ytar in Srednekolymsky district engaging with local dogs before disappearing.

Umka, the bear on the river looks larger. It was spotted by river transport workers, before being filmed on 20 September by a hunter.

On 22 September 2017, eyewitnesses reported the lost bear's location to the Ministry of Nature Protection of Yakutia, and Ivan Belonogov, head of the Central Kolyma Inspectorate for Nature Protection, went to check out the animal.

He estimated it as a two year old female.

A polar bear, nicknamed 'Umka', on the banks of the Kolyma River in Siberia, almost 700 kilometres south of the normal habitat for these animals, 22 September 2017. Photo: Ministry of Nature Protection of Yakutia

One theory was that the bear lost its mother - and then got hopelessly lost trying to find her.

But it is rare indeed for polar bears to venture this far away from the Arctic seas and ocean. [more]

Lost but happy eating fish: the polar bear that strayed 700 km too far south

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